Black Reel Registry of Honor Nominees

Posted: May 10, 2012 in Black Reel Awards Registry
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The celebration of a century of Black films and images continues with the announcement of the formation of the Black Reel Registry. This cinematic Hall of Fame will annually honor and spotlight five films that will be inducted into the Registry.

The Board for the Foundation for the Advancement of African American in Film (FAAAF) will annually select up to 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant films” each year for admission into the organization’s Black Reel Registry of Honor. Each year, the Board will select 25 films and a panel of film professionals will select FIVE honorees from that list to be added to the registry.

To be eligible, films must be at least 25 years old, though they need not be feature-length or have had a theatrical release in order to be considered. The legislation’s intent is that the broadest possible range of films be eligible for consideration.

The Foundation’s primary mission is to spotlight and educate the public on cultural, historic and significant films which provide an overview of the African-American experience in cinema.

For the inaugural Black Reel Registry honorees, the Board has determined that just for the 2013 induction that 50 films instead of 25 films will comprise the short list. The nominees will be announced on November 15, 2012.

Below are the candidates for the 2013 Black Reel Registry of Honor:

A Natural Born Gambler (1916)
A lovable scoundrel is busted for gambling and thrown into jail, where he dreams of playing poker – but even in his dreams, he loses.

Within Our Gates (1920)
Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated negro woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished negro youths. Produced, written and directed by novelist Oscar Micheaux, it is the oldest known surviving feature film made by an African-American director.

Body and Soul (1925)
A minister is malevolent and sinister behind his righteous facade. He consorts with, and later extorts from…

Hallelujah! (1929)
In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she’s only setting him up for a rigged craps game. Hallelujah! was King Vidor’s first sound film, and combined sound recorded on location and sound recorded post-production in Hollywood. King Vidor was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for the film.

Hearts in Dixie (1929)
The story unfolds as a series of sketches of life among American blacks. It featured characters with dignity, who took action on their own, and who were not slaves. The film was one of the first all-talkie, big-studio production to boast a predominantly African-American cast.

The Emperor Jones (1933)
Unscrupulously ambitious Brutus Jones escapes from jail after killing a guard and through bluff and bravado finds himself the emperor of a Caribbean island.

Murder in Harlem (1935)
A black night watchman at a chemical factory finds the body of a murdered white woman. After he reports it, he finds himself accused of the murder.

The Green Pastures (1936)
God, heaven, and several Old Testament stories, including the Creation and Noah’s Ark, are described supposedly using the perspective of rural, black Americans.

Swing! (1938)
Ted Gregory is trying to be the first black producer to mount a show on Broadway, but he has trouble with his star singer.

The Bronze Buckaroo (1939)
Bob Blake and his boys arrive at Joe Jackson’s ranch to find him missing. While Slim cheats Dusty out of his money using ventriloquism and marked cards…

Broken Strings (1940)
After noted violinist Arthur Williams suffers a hand injury which ends his playing career, his hopes are transferred to his son, who prefers swing music to classical.

Son of Ingagi (1940)
A newlywed couple is visited by a strange old woman who harbors a secret about the young girl’s father.

The Blood of Jesus (1941)
An atheist accidentally shoots his Baptist wife. She dies and goes to a crossroads, where the devil tries to lead her astray.

Cabin in the Sky (1943)
A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he’ll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Stormy Weather (1943)
The relationship between an aspiring dancer and a popular songstress provides a retrospective of the great African American entertainers of the early 1900s.

Go Down, Death! (1944)
The owner of a juke joint arranges to frame an innocent preacher with a scandalous photograph, but his scheme backfires when his own adoptive mother interferes.

Dirty Gertie From Harlem, U.S.A. (1946)
A sexy, enticing dancer from Harlem makes things happen in a sleepy Caribbean island resort.

Intruder in the Dust (1949)
In 1940s Mississippi two teenage boys and an elderly woman combine forces to prevent a miscarriage of justice and clear a black man of a murder charge.

Pinky (1949)
Pinky, a light skinned black woman, returns to her grandmother’s house in the South after graduating from a Northern nursing school…

No Way Out (1950)
A black doctor is assigned to treat two racist White, robbery suspects who are brothers, and when one dies, it causes tension that could start a race riot.

Carmen Jones (1954)
Contemporary version of the Bizet opera, with new lyrics and an African-American cast.

Blackboard Jungle (1955)
A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

Anna Lucasta (1958)
In 1959, United Artists produced a film version of Anna Lucasta starring Eartha Kitt as Anna Lucasta…

The Defiant Ones (1958)
Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Black Orpheus (1959)
A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
Dave Burke is looking to hire two men to assist him in a bank raid: Earl Slater, a white ex-convict…

Porgy and Bess (1959)
In this legendary Gershwin opera set among the black residents of a fishing village in 1912 South Carolina…

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

Lillies of the Field (1963)
An unemployed construction worker (Homer Smith) heading out west stops at a remote farm in the desert to get water when his car overheats…

Nothing But a Man (1964)
A proud black man and his school-teacher wife face discriminatory challenges in 1960s America.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Matt and Christina Drayton are a couple whose attitudes are challenged when their daughter brings home a fiancé who is black.

In the Heat of the Night (1967)
An African American detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racist southern town.

The Learning Tree (1969)
The story, set in Kansas during the 1920′s, covers less than a year in the life of a black teenager…

Shaft (1971)
Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter.

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassssss Song! (1971)
After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male prostitute goes on the run from “the man” with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.

Buck and the Preacher (1972)
A wagon master and a con-man preacher help freed slaves dogged by cheap-labor agents out West.

Lady Sings the Blues (1972)
The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Sounder (1972)
The son of a family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food.

Coffy (1973)
Coffy, an African American nurse, takes vigilante justice against inner city drug dealers after her sister becomes their latest victim.

The Spook Who Sat By the Door (1973)
A black man plays Uncle Tom in order to gain access to CIA training, then uses that knowledge to plot a new American Revolution.

Uptown Saturday Night (1974)
Steve Jackson and Wardell Franklin sneak out of their houses to visit Madame Zenobia’s: a high-class but illegal nightclub…

Cooley High (1975)
In the mid-1960′s, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest…

Killer of Sheep (1979)
Stan works in drudgery at a slaughterhouse. His personal life is drab. Dissatisfaction and ennui keep him unresponsive to the needs of his adoring wife…

48 Hrs. (1982)
A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.

Sugar Cane Alley (1983)
Martinique, in the early 1930s. Young José and his grandmother live in a small village. Nearly everyone works cutting cane and barely earning a living…

A Soldier’s Story (1984)
An African American officer investigates a murder in a racially charged situation in World War II.

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

The Color Purple (1985)
The life and trials of a young African American woman.

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)
Story of a woman and her three lovers.

Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.

Comments
  1. Douglas Gill says:

    An exciting idea, My reflections on the list are at: http://theurbanwitchdoctor.wordpress.com/

    • FilmGordon says:

      Mr. Gill, thank you for your thoughtful anaylsis and for the record, our committee didn’t feel that we missed any obvious films but took painstaking measures to find the worthy nomination candidates. Once again, thank you for your support and feedback as we work through this rewarding process.

  2. O. O. Ifasade says:

    I think you have entered too many Black Classic Movies. Many of your selections are are pioneering movies and trailblazers in their own right. It is not conceivable, in my way of thinking, to choose just one movie as the best. This approach is too Eurocentric. Why not have multiple winners in various categories?

    • FilmGordon says:

      Mr. Ifasade, the 50 films candidates that we selected for the inaugural Black Reel Registry will be whittled down to the five finalist that will be inducted in 2013. We will announce throughout the summer and fall as we reduce the candidates for induction. Thank you for your support and feedback.

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